What is the gospel? How did Jesus define it? And how do we respond to it? We read at the outset of the gospel of Mark that Jesus was “proclaiming the good news (gospel) of God. Jesus said, “The time has come, the kingdom of God has come near.” What captivates me is that Jesus’ definition of good news is the inauguration of a new kingdom, with its priorities, on earth. This is not simply the proclamation of a kingdom in Heaven that we can go to someday. This is an invitation to participate in the reunification project between God and his creation.

What are the priorities of this new kingdom? We see Jesus immersed in the lives of the outcasts, seeking individual and systemic justice and laying down his life for the benefit of others. The way of Jesus is difficult to trust when we daily watch the regimes of this world use their power to crush and abuse God’s creation.

So, how do we respond to this good news? Jesus said, “Repent and believe the good news!” Stop believing that we are doomed under the oppressive regimes of mankind. Stop believing that if we had the money and the power that we’d rule rightly. Instead, believe that God brought a new kingdom with new priorities. It doesn’t work like the kingdoms we read about in the annals of history; it works like leaven through dough bringing peace, justice and relational reconciliation. That we have the opportunity to participate in God’s kingdom on earth is unfathomable. You might even call it good news!

Abiding Father, thank you for bringing your kingdom life and priorities here. And thank you for the open invitation to participate in your kingdom. Teach us to live into your kingdom as we go about our days.

Throughout This Day: Reflect on how the Lord's Prayer (found in Matthew 6) invites us to seek his Kingdom and his righteousness every day of our lives.

Tags: Daily Devotional Mark 1
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